Oral History: Icing On The Cake

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On Tuesday, May 10, hundreds of people beat it down to Dallas City Performance Hall to partake in the sweetest treat of the day: the Oral Fixation (An Obsession with True Life Tales) Season Five finale, “Icing on the Cake.” And boy, did our seven storytellers deliver! Rich with all the right ingredients, their seven tales of transformation and change served up a multi-course evening that absolutely satisfied every appetite in the house!

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With heaping portions of sweetness and laughter, Megan Mayo  kicked off the night perfectly. Her true tale of wrangling her toddler to help deliver her husband a semi-homemade birthday cake and surprise celebration resonated with every parent present. “Our finished cake didn’t resemble the picture on the box at all,” she lamented to loads of laughter.

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Human Rights Initiative Executive Director Bill Holston took the audience from the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama to the court rooms of Dallas, where he routinely helps survivors of torture who are seeking asylum. “There is no better feeling than knowing that I had a hand in saving someone’s life,” Bill said. His humility and commitment to others inspired us all.

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With her detailed descriptions of cakes and cupcakes galore, freelance writer Penny Taylor had many in the audience wishing for actual dessert! Spinning tales of her life’s ups and downs and the many sumptuous concoctions along the way, she concluded, “There’s something I will always insist on: There must be cake.”

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Management consultant John Stanton’s wild tale of a Colorado-bound road trip with two of his sons enthralled the audience with both beauty and laughter. From “the breathtaking landscape of orange and yellow clouds against sunlit, rough mountains” to the tales of “cactus butt” or the moment John realized that he’d become exactly the dad his boys need, we were all in, relishing the ride.

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Communications Professional Valerie Stokes’ heart-wrenching story of her twin daughters’ micro preemie birth had many in the audience shedding tears. And when her daughters came home after more than three months in the NICU, we all rejoiced right along with her. “Today, I’m grateful, because it’s one more day with my girls,” Valerie shared. “Every day with them is the icing on the cake.”

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When personal chef, and Mama’s Gotta Eat owner, Alyssia Birnbaum shared her experience of auditioning and participating in the NBC reality cooking show Food Fighters, we were clutching our sides in laughter. “Casting agents were clearly more interested in each person’s story rather than their food,” she recalled. “And I had a great story: Biracial infertile mom who adopts and wants more kids! When it was my turn, I laid it on thick!”

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Capping off the evening with both hilarity and sweetness, Jacob Longoria entertained us galore with how his 28th birthday went wildly awry. Fired, rejected by a sexy neighbor, and then physically assaulted, he was “bleeding like a 1970s pro-wrestler!” That night, however, everything changed. Spotting the girl of his dreams, Jacob boldly asked, “Are you a single lady by chance?” Indeed she was, and today, she’s his wife!

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With extra helpings of laughter, enormous portions of sweetness, and just the right amount of poignancy, “Icing on the Cake” was the perfect dessert for what has absolutely been a stellar season. If you’re still hungry for more Oral Fixation, however, don’t be shy: Check out the full photo gallery below. Of course, having survived the heat of the OF kitchen, these storytellers are now part of the Oral Fixation family. You could be too! Keep an eye out over the summer for our announcement of Season 6 themes, and if you have a story that fits a theme, please submit!

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